You Haven’t Experienced Mexico Until You Visit Cabo

If you’ve been to Cancun and you think you’ve been to Mexico, think again. You need to go to Cabo.

Los Cabos, located at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, is nothing like the hotel zone of Cancun or the dense mangrove forest of Riviera Maya. It’s desert, and it feels like Southern California or Arizona. Cabo is in the state of Baja California Sur (“baja” means “lower and “sur” means “south”) so it is literally Lower California South.

Cabo boasts jutting cliffs, rocky beaches, coarse sand, countless varieties of cactus, and fascinating animal life. I saw swooping pelicans, playful seals, reclusive hermit and blue crabs, and of course, proud and mighty iguanas.

I arrived in Cabo early Friday afternoon. I was attending a travel conference called Global Travel Marketplace later in the weekend, but I wanted to have some time to explore the city before the virtual conference began.

My trip began with a tour of Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort and Live Aqua Private Residence Los Cabos. As a travel agent, I try to do site inspections of as many properties as I can when I travel. This involves reaching out to the sales manager of the hotel and arranging a tour of the grounds, restaurants, pools, and entertainment venues, as well as viewing several room categories. I take photos, take notes, ask questions, and study the property so that I can give you firsthand knowledge and provide my honest opinion when you call me to plan your trip.

Fiesta Americana and Live Aqua are part of the La Coleccion Resorts, a group of properties owned by Posadas, the largest hotel group in Mexico. I am very loyal to this brand because the food is always excellent, and the staff is some of the most personable and friendly in any resort brand I’ve encountered. This is the fourth La Coleccion resort I have visited in the past year. The other two are Fiesta Americana Cozumel and Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende.

Travel is always more fun when you go with people you enjoy. I traveled with Joanie and Dottie, two other Creation Vacation travel advisors. Joanie suggested we take a tour called Encounter Cabo on Saturday so we could get out and explore the area.

Expert Tip: Take a city tour on the first or second day of your trip. It’s a good way to get the lay of the land and discover which places you want to come back and revisit during the rest of your stay.

Los Cabos includes two towns: San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. San Jose del Cabo is the old town, with a traditional town square. It is all you would expect in a quaint, coastal town. It has a beautiful city hall building, a mission church, and a large central area with a gazebo for town events.

Cabo San Lucas is the new town, with modern hotels and a hip downtown area with lots of restaurants, cantinas and shops.

Our tour began in San Jose del Cabo with a trip to The Velvet Box, a jewelry shop in old town. The owner named Daniel gave us a demonstration on cultivating cultured pearls. Contrary to popular belief, pearls do not begin as a grain of sand. It is a germ or bacteria that initiates the pearl formation, and the germ penetrates the outside of the oyster shell.

The demonstration ended with a game of BINGO, and the winner got to keep the pearl. Dottie won, and when Daniel opened the shell, it was a double pearl: two perfectly round spheres that were so similar in size that they were perfect for earrings. Daniel set the pearls in silver, and he delivered the earrings to Dottie within a few hours. She even got to keep the oyster shell. What a memorable souvenir from our trip.

We took some time to explore the tiny town square in San Jose del Cabo and stepped into the mission church.

Next, we headed to a glass blowing factory and watched artisans create delicate, wavy-edged plates from scraps of glass. I was intrigued by the process and I liked their work so much I bought a plate and a vase. The owner of the factory wrapped both items really well, and both pieces arrived home in perfect condition.

Expert Tip: Pack a collapsible duffle bag or a large backpack in your suitcase so you have an additional bag to bring home souvenirs and gifts.

If you go to Cabo, you have to do a boat tour around the cape of the Baja peninsula, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. This is called The Arch. Our captain, Jose, was a jovial guy with a good sense of humor. Get ready to see lots of seals and sea lions on the large rocks of The Arch. Be careful with your cameras, though. The Pacific side is much rougher, and we were practically bouncing off our seats.

Our tour ended with a tasty lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. I got the chicken enchiladas with a zesty tomatillo sauce.

On Sunday, Global Travel Marketplace West began. Joanie and I both took part in the conference, and we were really honored to participate. We spent the remainder of our time in Cabo in our modern, one-bedroom villa at the Live Aqua Private Residence.

I can’t think of a better place than Live Aqua Private Residence to get away for a conference. The villa offered everything we needed: a large sitting area, a fridge stocked with drinks and snacks, a huge bedroom and spacious bath area, and an oversized, covered balcony that became my favorite place to sit for my virtual board meetings. There’s nothing like your fellow attendees saying, “Wait, where are you?” All I had to do was swivel around and let them look at the mountains of Cabo and the sparkling Sea of Cortez.

Wow.

Besides the comfortable accommodations, the food and the service at Live Aqua Private Residence and its sister property, Grand Fiesta Americana, were impeccable. I can’t suggest these resorts highly enough. The staff at both properties knew our names and our room number! We got attached to several of the team members and got photos with them before we left.

My favorite restaurant was Mai, the restaurant at the Private Residence. Every appetizer, entrée and dessert was a work of art. Look at the carrot soup, served in a coconut shell with coconut cream froth. Nothing quite compared to the French Toast, though. I don’t even like French Toast, but this French toast is like nothing I’ve ever had. The chef makes the bread in-house, and then pan-fries the bread with a cinnamon glaze until it gets crispy on the outside but remains a warm, soft pillow of sweetness on the inside.

Trust me. It’s life-changing.

And what about these churros at the Mexican restaurant—La Mexicana. We went back twice for the homemade churros, filled with caramel and served with cinnamon ice cream. You also need to try the Mayan Coffee. It’s quite a show.

I ended my Cabo trip with a walk on the rocky beach. Most beaches in Cabo are not swimmable because of the current, but I was happy to just climb onto a big rock and watch the waves crash. This unique destination has so much to offer, and I know I will be back soon.

Have I convinced you that you need to visit Cabo? Let’s chat and start planning your trip. Reach out to me by emailing me at thepassportandpen@gmail.com or click here to Request a Quote. Now, more than ever, it’s critical to use a travel advisor so you can stay informed with updates about your destination. We do the research, and all you have to do is pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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